State of Illinois
2021 and 2022


Introduced 2/19/2021, by Rep. Edgar Gonzalez, Jr.


5 ILCS 315/9  from Ch. 48, par. 1609
5 ILCS 315/10  from Ch. 48, par. 1610

    Amends the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act. Provides that the showing of interest in support of a petition filed for the purpose of selecting a labor organization as the representative of the employees in a bargaining unit may be evidenced by electronic communications, and such writing or communication may be evidenced by the electronic signature of the employees. Provides that the showing of interest shall be valid only if signed within 12 months prior to the filing of the petition. Provides that a secret ballot election held for the purpose of selecting a labor organization as the representative of the employees in a bargaining unit may be conducted electronically, using an electronic voting system, in addition to paper ballot voting systems. Provides that it shall be an unfair labor practice for an employer to promise, threaten, or take any action because of an employees specified participation in a strike.

LRB102 14009 RJF 19361 b





HB2521LRB102 14009 RJF 19361 b

1    AN ACT concerning government.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 5. The Illinois Public Labor Relations Act is
5amended by changing Sections 9 and 10 as follows:
6    (5 ILCS 315/9)  (from Ch. 48, par. 1609)
7    Sec. 9. Elections; recognition.
8    (a) Whenever in accordance with such regulations as may be
9prescribed by the Board a petition has been filed:
10        (1) by a public employee or group of public employees
11    or any labor organization acting in their behalf
12    demonstrating that 30% of the public employees in an
13    appropriate unit (A) wish to be represented for the
14    purposes of collective bargaining by a labor organization
15    as exclusive representative, or (B) asserting that the
16    labor organization which has been certified or is
17    currently recognized by the public employer as bargaining
18    representative is no longer the representative of the
19    majority of public employees in the unit; or
20        (2) by a public employer alleging that one or more
21    labor organizations have presented to it a claim that they
22    be recognized as the representative of a majority of the
23    public employees in an appropriate unit, the Board shall



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1    investigate such petition, and if it has reasonable cause
2    to believe that a question of representation exists, shall
3    provide for an appropriate hearing upon due notice. Such
4    hearing shall be held at the offices of the Board or such
5    other location as the Board deems appropriate. If it finds
6    upon the record of the hearing that a question of
7    representation exists, it shall direct an election in
8    accordance with subsection (d) of this Section, which
9    election shall be held not later than 120 days after the
10    date the petition was filed regardless of whether that
11    petition was filed before or after the effective date of
12    this amendatory Act of 1987; provided, however, the Board
13    may extend the time for holding an election by an
14    additional 60 days if, upon motion by a person who has
15    filed a petition under this Section or is the subject of a
16    petition filed under this Section and is a party to such
17    hearing, or upon the Board's own motion, the Board finds
18    that good cause has been shown for extending the election
19    date; provided further, that nothing in this Section shall
20    prohibit the Board, in its discretion, from extending the
21    time for holding an election for so long as may be
22    necessary under the circumstances, where the purpose for
23    such extension is to permit resolution by the Board of an
24    unfair labor practice charge filed by one of the parties
25    to a representational proceeding against the other based
26    upon conduct which may either affect the existence of a



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1    question concerning representation or have a tendency to
2    interfere with a fair and free election, where the party
3    filing the charge has not filed a request to proceed with
4    the election; and provided further that prior to the
5    expiration of the total time allotted for holding an
6    election, a person who has filed a petition under this
7    Section or is the subject of a petition filed under this
8    Section and is a party to such hearing or the Board, may
9    move for and obtain the entry of an order in the circuit
10    court of the county in which the majority of the public
11    employees sought to be represented by such person reside,
12    such order extending the date upon which the election
13    shall be held. Such order shall be issued by the circuit
14    court only upon a judicial finding that there has been a
15    sufficient showing that there is good cause to extend the
16    election date beyond such period and shall require the
17    Board to hold the election as soon as is feasible given the
18    totality of the circumstances. Such 120 day period may be
19    extended one or more times by the agreement of all parties
20    to the hearing to a date certain without the necessity of
21    obtaining a court order. The showing of interest in
22    support of a petition filed under paragraph (1) of this
23    subsection (a) may be evidenced by electronic
24    communications, and such writing or communication may be
25    evidenced by the electronic signature of the employee as
26    provided under Section 5-120 of the Electronic Commerce



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1    Security Act. The showing of interest shall be valid only
2    if signed within 12 months prior to the filing of the
3    petition. Nothing in this Section prohibits the waiving of
4    hearings by stipulation for the purpose of a consent
5    election in conformity with the rules and regulations of
6    the Board or an election in a unit agreed upon by the
7    parties. Other interested employee organizations may
8    intervene in the proceedings in the manner and within the
9    time period specified by rules and regulations of the
10    Board. Interested parties who are necessary to the
11    proceedings may also intervene in the proceedings in the
12    manner and within the time period specified by the rules
13    and regulations of the Board.
14    (a-5) The Board shall designate an exclusive
15representative for purposes of collective bargaining when the
16representative demonstrates a showing of majority interest by
17employees in the unit. If the parties to a dispute are without
18agreement on the means to ascertain the choice, if any, of
19employee organization as their representative, the Board shall
20ascertain the employees' choice of employee organization, on
21the basis of dues deduction authorization or other evidence,
22or, if necessary, by conducting an election. The showing of
23interest in support of a petition filed under this subsection
24(a-5) may be evidenced by electronic communications, and such
25writing or communication may be evidenced by the electronic
26signature of the employee as provided under Section 5-120 of



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1the Electronic Commerce Security Act. The showing of interest
2shall be valid only if signed within 12 months prior to the
3filing of the petition. All evidence submitted by an employee
4organization to the Board to ascertain an employee's choice of
5an employee organization is confidential and shall not be
6submitted to the employer for review. The Board shall
7ascertain the employee's choice of employee organization
8within 120 days after the filing of the majority interest
9petition; however, the Board may extend time by an additional
1060 days, upon its own motion or upon the motion of a party to
11the proceeding. If either party provides to the Board, before
12the designation of a representative, clear and convincing
13evidence that the dues deduction authorizations, and other
14evidence upon which the Board would otherwise rely to
15ascertain the employees' choice of representative, are
16fraudulent or were obtained through coercion, the Board shall
17promptly thereafter conduct an election. The Board shall also
18investigate and consider a party's allegations that the dues
19deduction authorizations and other evidence submitted in
20support of a designation of representative without an election
21were subsequently changed, altered, withdrawn, or withheld as
22a result of employer fraud, coercion, or any other unfair
23labor practice by the employer. If the Board determines that a
24labor organization would have had a majority interest but for
25an employer's fraud, coercion, or unfair labor practice, it
26shall designate the labor organization as an exclusive



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1representative without conducting an election. If a hearing is
2necessary to resolve any issues of representation under this
3Section, the Board shall conclude its hearing process and
4issue a certification of the entire appropriate unit not later
5than 120 days after the date the petition was filed. The
6120-day period may be extended one or more times by the
7agreement of all parties to a hearing to a date certain.
8    (a-6) A labor organization or an employer may file a unit
9clarification petition seeking to clarify an existing
10bargaining unit. The Board shall conclude its investigation,
11including any hearing process deemed necessary, and issue a
12certification of clarified unit or dismiss the petition not
13later than 120 days after the date the petition was filed. The
14120-day period may be extended one or more times by the
15agreement of all parties to a hearing to a date certain.
16    (b) The Board shall decide in each case, in order to assure
17public employees the fullest freedom in exercising the rights
18guaranteed by this Act, a unit appropriate for the purpose of
19collective bargaining, based upon but not limited to such
20factors as: historical pattern of recognition; community of
21interest including employee skills and functions; degree of
22functional integration; interchangeability and contact among
23employees; fragmentation of employee groups; common
24supervision, wages, hours and other working conditions of the
25employees involved; and the desires of the employees. For
26purposes of this subsection, fragmentation shall not be the



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1sole or predominant factor used by the Board in determining an
2appropriate bargaining unit. Except with respect to non-State
3fire fighters and paramedics employed by fire departments and
4fire protection districts, non-State peace officers and peace
5officers in the State Department of State Police, a single
6bargaining unit determined by the Board may not include both
7supervisors and nonsupervisors, except for bargaining units in
8existence on the effective date of this Act. With respect to
9non-State fire fighters and paramedics employed by fire
10departments and fire protection districts, non-State peace
11officers and peace officers in the State Department of State
12Police, a single bargaining unit determined by the Board may
13not include both supervisors and nonsupervisors, except for
14bargaining units in existence on the effective date of this
15amendatory Act of 1985.
16    In cases involving an historical pattern of recognition,
17and in cases where the employer has recognized the union as the
18sole and exclusive bargaining agent for a specified existing
19unit, the Board shall find the employees in the unit then
20represented by the union pursuant to the recognition to be the
21appropriate unit.
22    Notwithstanding the above factors, where the majority of
23public employees of a craft so decide, the Board shall
24designate such craft as a unit appropriate for the purposes of
25collective bargaining.
26    The Board shall not decide that any unit is appropriate if



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1such unit includes both professional and nonprofessional
2employees, unless a majority of each group votes for inclusion
3in such unit.
4    (c) Nothing in this Act shall interfere with or negate the
5current representation rights or patterns and practices of
6labor organizations which have historically represented public
7employees for the purpose of collective bargaining, including
8but not limited to the negotiations of wages, hours and
9working conditions, discussions of employees' grievances,
10resolution of jurisdictional disputes, or the establishment
11and maintenance of prevailing wage rates, unless a majority of
12employees so represented express a contrary desire pursuant to
13the procedures set forth in this Act.
14    (d) In instances where the employer does not voluntarily
15recognize a labor organization as the exclusive bargaining
16representative for a unit of employees, the Board shall
17determine the majority representative of the public employees
18in an appropriate collective bargaining unit by conducting a
19secret ballot election, except as otherwise provided in
20subsection (a-5). Such a secret ballot election may be
21conducted electronically, using an electronic voting system,
22in addition to paper ballot voting systems. Within 7 days
23after the Board issues its bargaining unit determination and
24direction of election or the execution of a stipulation for
25the purpose of a consent election, the public employer shall
26submit to the labor organization the complete names and



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1addresses of those employees who are determined by the Board
2to be eligible to participate in the election. When the Board
3has determined that a labor organization has been fairly and
4freely chosen by a majority of employees in an appropriate
5unit, it shall certify such organization as the exclusive
6representative. If the Board determines that a majority of
7employees in an appropriate unit has fairly and freely chosen
8not to be represented by a labor organization, it shall so
9certify. The Board may also revoke the certification of the
10public employee organizations as exclusive bargaining
11representatives which have been found by a secret ballot
12election to be no longer the majority representative.
13    (e) The Board shall not conduct an election in any
14bargaining unit or any subdivision thereof within which a
15valid election has been held in the preceding 12-month period.
16The Board shall determine who is eligible to vote in an
17election and shall establish rules governing the conduct of
18the election or conduct affecting the results of the election.
19The Board shall include on a ballot in a representation
20election a choice of "no representation". A labor organization
21currently representing the bargaining unit of employees shall
22be placed on the ballot in any representation election. In any
23election where none of the choices on the ballot receives a
24majority, a runoff election shall be conducted between the 2
25choices receiving the largest number of valid votes cast in
26the election. A labor organization which receives a majority



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1of the votes cast in an election shall be certified by the
2Board as exclusive representative of all public employees in
3the unit.
4    (f) A labor organization shall be designated as the
5exclusive representative by a public employer, provided that
6the labor organization represents a majority of the public
7employees in an appropriate unit. Any employee organization
8which is designated or selected by the majority of public
9employees, in a unit of the public employer having no other
10recognized or certified representative, as their
11representative for purposes of collective bargaining may
12request recognition by the public employer in writing. The
13public employer shall post such request for a period of at
14least 20 days following its receipt thereof on bulletin boards
15or other places used or reserved for employee notices.
16    (g) Within the 20-day period any other interested employee
17organization may petition the Board in the manner specified by
18rules and regulations of the Board, provided that such
19interested employee organization has been designated by at
20least 10% of the employees in an appropriate bargaining unit
21which includes all or some of the employees in the unit
22recognized by the employer. In such event, the Board shall
23proceed with the petition in the same manner as provided by
24paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of this Section.
25    (h) No election shall be directed by the Board in any
26bargaining unit where there is in force a valid collective



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1bargaining agreement. The Board, however, may process an
2election petition filed between 90 and 60 days prior to the
3expiration of the date of an agreement, and may further
4refine, by rule or decision, the implementation of this
5provision. Where more than 4 years have elapsed since the
6effective date of the agreement, the agreement shall continue
7to bar an election, except that the Board may process an
8election petition filed between 90 and 60 days prior to the end
9of the fifth year of such an agreement, and between 90 and 60
10days prior to the end of each successive year of such
12    (i) An order of the Board dismissing a representation
13petition, determining and certifying that a labor organization
14has been fairly and freely chosen by a majority of employees in
15an appropriate bargaining unit, determining and certifying
16that a labor organization has not been fairly and freely
17chosen by a majority of employees in the bargaining unit or
18certifying a labor organization as the exclusive
19representative of employees in an appropriate bargaining unit
20because of a determination by the Board that the labor
21organization is the historical bargaining representative of
22employees in the bargaining unit, is a final order. Any person
23aggrieved by any such order issued on or after the effective
24date of this amendatory Act of 1987 may apply for and obtain
25judicial review in accordance with provisions of the
26Administrative Review Law, as now or hereafter amended, except



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1that such review shall be afforded directly in the Appellate
2Court for the district in which the aggrieved party resides or
3transacts business. Any direct appeal to the Appellate Court
4shall be filed within 35 days from the date that a copy of the
5decision sought to be reviewed was served upon the party
6affected by the decision.
7(Source: P.A. 95-331, eff. 8-21-07; 96-813, eff. 10-30-09.)
8    (5 ILCS 315/10)  (from Ch. 48, par. 1610)
9    Sec. 10. Unfair labor practices.
10    (a) It shall be an unfair labor practice for an employer or
11its agents:
12        (1) to interfere with, restrain or coerce public
13    employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed in this
14    Act or to dominate or interfere with the formation,
15    existence or administration of any labor organization or
16    contribute financial or other support to it; provided, an
17    employer shall not be prohibited from permitting employees
18    to confer with him during working hours without loss of
19    time or pay;
20        (2) to discriminate in regard to hire or tenure of
21    employment or any term or condition of employment in order
22    to encourage or discourage membership in or other support
23    for any labor organization. Nothing in this Act or any
24    other law precludes a public employer from making an
25    agreement with a labor organization to require as a



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1    condition of employment the payment of a fair share under
2    paragraph (e) of Section 6;
3        (3) to discharge or otherwise discriminate against a
4    public employee because he has signed or filed an
5    affidavit, petition or charge or provided any information
6    or testimony under this Act;
7        (4) to refuse to bargain collectively in good faith
8    with a labor organization which is the exclusive
9    representative of public employees in an appropriate unit,
10    including, but not limited to, the discussing of
11    grievances with the exclusive representative;
12        (5) to violate any of the rules and regulations
13    established by the Board with jurisdiction over them
14    relating to the conduct of representation elections or the
15    conduct affecting the representation elections;
16        (6) to expend or cause the expenditure of public funds
17    to any external agent, individual, firm, agency,
18    partnership or association in any attempt to influence the
19    outcome of representational elections held pursuant to
20    Section 9 of this Act; provided, that nothing in this
21    subsection shall be construed to limit an employer's right
22    to internally communicate with its employees as provided
23    in subsection (c) of this Section, to be represented on
24    any matter pertaining to unit determinations, unfair labor
25    practice charges or pre-election conferences in any formal
26    or informal proceeding before the Board, or to seek or



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1    obtain advice from legal counsel. Nothing in this
2    paragraph shall be construed to prohibit an employer from
3    expending or causing the expenditure of public funds on,
4    or seeking or obtaining services or advice from, any
5    organization, group, or association established by and
6    including public or educational employers, whether covered
7    by this Act, the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act
8    or the public employment labor relations law of any other
9    state or the federal government, provided that such
10    services or advice are generally available to the
11    membership of the organization, group or association, and
12    are not offered solely in an attempt to influence the
13    outcome of a particular representational election;
14        (7) to refuse to reduce a collective bargaining
15    agreement to writing or to refuse to sign such agreement;
16        (8) to interfere with, restrain, coerce, deter, or
17    discourage public employees or applicants to be public
18    employees from: (i) becoming or remaining members of a
19    labor organization; (ii) authorizing representation by a
20    labor organization; or (iii) authorizing dues or fee
21    deductions to a labor organization, nor shall the employer
22    intentionally permit outside third parties to use its
23    email or other communication systems to engage in that
24    conduct. An employer's good faith implementation of a
25    policy to block the use of its email or other
26    communication systems for such purposes shall be a defense



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1    to an unfair labor practice; or
2        (9) to disclose to any person or entity information
3    set forth in subsection (c-5) of Section 6 of this Act that
4    the employer knows or should know will be used to
5    interfere with, restrain, coerce, deter, or discourage any
6    public employee from: (i) becoming or remaining members of
7    a labor organization, (ii) authorizing representation by a
8    labor organization, or (iii) authorizing dues or fee
9    deductions to a labor organization; or .
10        (10) to promise, threaten, or take any action: (i) to
11    permanently replace an employee who participates in a
12    strike as provided under Section 17; (ii) to discriminate
13    against an employee who is working or has unconditionally
14    offered to return to work for the employer because the
15    employee supported or participated in such a strike; or
16    (iii) to lockout, suspend, or otherwise withhold
17    employment from employees in order to influence the
18    position of such employees or the representative of such
19    employees in collective bargaining prior to a strike.
20    (b) It shall be an unfair labor practice for a labor
21organization or its agents:
22        (1) to restrain or coerce public employees in the
23    exercise of the rights guaranteed in this Act, provided,
24    (i) that this paragraph shall not impair the right of a
25    labor organization to prescribe its own rules with respect
26    to the acquisition or retention of membership therein or



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1    the determination of fair share payments and (ii) that a
2    labor organization or its agents shall commit an unfair
3    labor practice under this paragraph in duty of fair
4    representation cases only by intentional misconduct in
5    representing employees under this Act;
6        (2) to restrain or coerce a public employer in the
7    selection of his representatives for the purposes of
8    collective bargaining or the settlement of grievances; or
9        (3) to cause, or attempt to cause, an employer to
10    discriminate against an employee in violation of
11    subsection (a)(2);
12        (4) to refuse to bargain collectively in good faith
13    with a public employer, if it has been designated in
14    accordance with the provisions of this Act as the
15    exclusive representative of public employees in an
16    appropriate unit;
17        (5) to violate any of the rules and regulations
18    established by the boards with jurisdiction over them
19    relating to the conduct of representation elections or the
20    conduct affecting the representation elections;
21        (6) to discriminate against any employee because he
22    has signed or filed an affidavit, petition or charge or
23    provided any information or testimony under this Act;
24        (7) to picket or cause to be picketed, or threaten to
25    picket or cause to be picketed, any public employer where
26    an object thereof is forcing or requiring an employer to



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1    recognize or bargain with a labor organization of the
2    representative of its employees, or forcing or requiring
3    the employees of an employer to accept or select such
4    labor organization as their collective bargaining
5    representative, unless such labor organization is
6    currently certified as the representative of such
7    employees:
8            (A) where the employer has lawfully recognized in
9        accordance with this Act any labor organization and a
10        question concerning representation may not
11        appropriately be raised under Section 9 of this Act;
12            (B) where within the preceding 12 months a valid
13        election under Section 9 of this Act has been
14        conducted; or
15            (C) where such picketing has been conducted
16        without a petition under Section 9 being filed within
17        a reasonable period of time not to exceed 30 days from
18        the commencement of such picketing; provided that when
19        such a petition has been filed the Board shall
20        forthwith, without regard to the provisions of
21        subsection (a) of Section 9 or the absence of a showing
22        of a substantial interest on the part of the labor
23        organization, direct an election in such unit as the
24        Board finds to be appropriate and shall certify the
25        results thereof; provided further, that nothing in
26        this subparagraph shall be construed to prohibit any



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1        picketing or other publicity for the purpose of
2        truthfully advising the public that an employer does
3        not employ members of, or have a contract with, a labor
4        organization unless an effect of such picketing is to
5        induce any individual employed by any other person in
6        the course of his employment, not to pick up, deliver,
7        or transport any goods or not to perform any services;
8        or
9        (8) to refuse to reduce a collective bargaining
10    agreement to writing or to refuse to sign such agreement.
11    (c) The expressing of any views, argument, or opinion or
12the dissemination thereof, whether in written, printed,
13graphic, or visual form, shall not constitute or be evidence
14of an unfair labor practice under any of the provisions of this
15Act, if such expression contains no threat of reprisal or
16force or promise of benefit.
17    (d) The employer shall not discourage public employees or
18applicants to be public employees from becoming or remaining
19union members or authorizing dues deductions, and shall not
20otherwise interfere with the relationship between employees
21and their exclusive bargaining representative. The employer
22shall refer all inquiries about union membership to the
23exclusive bargaining representative, except that the employer
24may communicate with employees regarding payroll processes and
25procedures. The employer will establish email policies in an
26effort to prohibit the use of its email system by outside



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2(Source: P.A. 101-620, eff. 12-20-19.)